Written By: Shannon Burns, Ph.D. Student, Chemical Oceanography
ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Early on March 10th, 2019, the crew of the R/V Endeavor will set sail for the first of five authorized research cruise expeditions out of St. George’s, Bermuda as part of the Bermuda Atlantic Iron Times-series (BAIT) project.
Scientists involved in the project will combine seasonally resolved observations of particulate, dissolved, colloidal, soluble, and ligand-bound iron, and corresponding physical, chemical and biological data from the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Station (BATS) program, with state-of-the-art biogeochemical modeling. By building on the general theoretical framework for the ocean iron cycle described by Tagliabue et al. (2017), which synthesizes new data produced by the GEOTRACES ocean section cruises and other insights provided by recent research, this work will advance our ability to model the ocean iron cycle and project its sensitivity to future change. As an essential micronutrient, iron plays key roles in regulating marine primary production and the cycling of carbon. Therefore, ocean ecosystem and biogeochemical models must consider iron in order to explore past, present and future variations in marine productivity and the role of the ocean in the global carbon cycle.
The project is funded by NSF Chemical Oceanography, grant number OCE-1829777, and is an international collaboration with the United Kingdom, part of the NSF-NERC program. Project P.I.’s are Peter Sedwick (Old Dominion University), Ben Twining (Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences), Dan Ohnemus (Skidaway Institute of Oceanography), Kristen Buck (University of South Florida), Rod Johnson (Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences), and Alessandro Tagliabue (University of Liverpool).
Ph.D. student Shannon Burns is representing Dr. Kristen Buck’s lab on this first expedition. Postdoctoral Researcher Salvatore Caprara is also involved in the project and will be sailing on future expeditions.
Samples are also being collected for Dr. Tim Conway during this expedition.
Tagliabue, A., A. R. Bowie, P. W. Boyd, K. N. Buck, K. S. Johnson, and M. A. Saito. 2017. The integral role of iron in ocean biogeochemistry. Nature 543: 51-59.